Two of South Korea’s largest banks are set to launch a blockchain-powered digital certificate platform for military personnel – which will allow soldiers to use smartphone-based ID solutions to open savings accounts without having to set foot in a brick-and-mortar bank branch.
Per the media outlet White Paper, the banks – Kookmin Bank (KB) and IBK Industrial Bank – have struck a cooperation deal that also involves the Military Mutual Aid Association public pension fund, the Korea Financial Telecommunications and Clearings Institute (an inter-bank payment systems provider) and Raon White Hat, an information security service provider that specializes in blockchain-based distributed identity authentication (DID) services.
Initially, the platform will allow KB to offer contact-free, remote access to its KB Soldier Tomorrow Reserve Savings (literal translation) financial product – a banking service designed exclusively for active-duty soldiers as of June this year.
The platform will make use of DID technology, allowing soldiers to obtain and make use of digital proof-of-identity certificates required to access the product.
The bank stated that soldiers would be able to access banking services and sign up regardless of their location and COVID-19-related restrictions – with provisions also made for personnel serving in units where smartphone usage is limited or restricted.
South Korean law requires all able-bodied males to serve in the armed forces for at least 18 months, and the nation also has a sizeable standing army. As of 2020, the nation’s military has a personnel strength of 3,750,000, with over 0.5 million deployed on active duty.